Firestone Walker Tour and DBA Clone

Firestone Walker Brewhouse

Re:Find Distillery’s Josh Fuggette (left) and Firestone Walker masterbrewer Matt Bryndilson.

I love breweries, brewers, and beers that push the edges of brewing guidelines. Firestone Walker, Matt Bryndilson, and Double Barrel Ale (DBA) fit perfectly into that mindset. Before heading to the Central Coast to hang out with my buddy and Re:find Distillery assistant distiller Josh Fugette, I knew that I wanted to visit Firestone Walker and have a few of their beers that I can’t enjoy easily in Wisconsin. My last day along the Central Coast was spent hiking with Josh and then we headed to a tour of Firestone Walker with Josh and master brewer Bryndilson.  Villicana Winery and Re:find Distillery owner Alex Villicana was kind enough to set this up and I was disapointed that Alex couldn’t join us.
As a homebrewer, I’ve benefited from Bryndilson’s brewing knowledge and advice through articles and podcasts, so needless to say I was excited to meet him in person and learn about Firestone Walker’s brewery operations. Though, I’m now more excited to learn from him during the CBA program at the American Brewers Guild next summer.

FW2

The Firestone Walker barrel room. Man, it smelled amazing in there.

I like to formulate my own recipes and swap out ingredients or change a process to learn as much as I can about brewing, so I don’t brew very many clones. Matt’s  tour inspired me to brew a Double Barrel Clone.  I obviously didn’t recreate the Firestone union system in which they ferment a portion of several of their beers.  I used medium toast oak chips, though I would have preferred to use cubes, but both the Wine and Hop Shop and Brew and Grow in Madison were out of the cubes.  I’ll leave the chips in secondary for about half the time I would the cubes-about a week.  I hope it imparts an oaky vanilla favor that is balances with the maltiness that’s DBA is know for.

The following clone was adapted from Can you Brew It interview with Bryndildson with modifications for my system.

 

 

 

 

Stats
Batch Size (Gal): 6.0
Total Grain (Lbs): 12.13
Anticipated OG: 1.053
Anticipated SRM: 15.8
Anticipated IBU: 32 (Rager)
Brewhouse Efficiency: 70.0%
Wort Boil Time: 90 Minutes

Grain Bill
10.0 lbs Maris Otter
1.0 lbs Crystal 10
12 oz Munich
4 oz Crystal 120
2 oz Chocolate

Hops
0.50 oz Magnum @ 60 min
0.65 oz EKG @30 min
0.75 EKG @ flameout
0.75 Fuggle @ Flameout

Yeast
WLP 002

Mash Profile
Mash at 145F for 45 minutes, step up to 156F for 15 min
Two batch sparges at 168F

Fermentation Profile
Pitched yeast at 65F and raised to 68F over 24 hours.  Added 1.0 oz oak chips and fermented for 14 days.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Morro: Is it a Saison or is it a Lambic?

In Fall of 2013, motivated by my trip to the Central Coast, I set out to brew the best saisons I could.  Not just a saison with the great balance of fruity and spicy, a soft malt flavor, and the slickness from the yeast, but original saisons that challenge the norm and expectations of what a saison should be. I started the Nine Sisters Saison project.

 

I’ve had some degree of success. Cabrillo – Hoppy Rye Saison took second place at the Badger Brew Off and Bishop – Rye Saison with brett took first place at the 2014 Wisconsin State Fair.  I adore both those beers.  After bottling Bishop, I did a 50-50 blended of my 2012 lambic that I put on raspberries in fall 2013.  The non-carbonated test tasted like fruit juice with a touch of spiciness and a mild sourness.  I ended up bottling seven cases with enough table sugar to achieve about 3.0 volumes of CO2.

 

Morro with hydrometer

Bishop

Stats
Batch Size (Gal): 5.5
Total Grain (Lbs): 12.5
Anticipated OG: 1.060
Anticipated SRM: 4.2
Anticipated IBU: 21.6 (Rager)
Brewhouse Efficiency: 79.8%
Wort Boil Time: 90 Minutes

9 lbs Belgian Pilsner  (2.0 SRM)  75 %
3 lb Rye malt  (3.5 SRM) 25%
8 oz Turbinado sugar  added in the boil

Hops
1.5 oz Styrian Celeia (4.0% AA)– Boil 60.0 min
0.5 oz Styrian Celeia (4.0% AA)– Boil 10.0 min

Yeast
Wyeast 3711 French Saison 1.5L starter
WLP 650 – one tube added to secondary

Water Profile

Madison, WI cut 1:1 with RO water.  4g  Gypsum and 1 g CaCl added to the mash water.
Sparged with two batches of 100% RO water

Final profile:

Ca – 69.2
Mg – 9.7
Na – 14.3
Cl – 67.5
SO4 – 71.5
HCO – 0.525

 

Mash Profile
Single infusion at 149F
sparge at 168F

Mash pH – 5.31

Fermentation Profile
Pitch yeast at 68 F and ferment until gravity is around 1.015-1.018.  I’ll add Brett B to the secondary and raise the temp to 75-85F until fully attenuated.

 

Lambic

Stats

Batch Size (Gal): 6.0
Total Grain (Lbs): 12.75
Anticipated OG: 1.053
Anticipated SRM: 3.6
Anticipated IBU: Less than 4
Brewhouse Efficiency: 69 %
Wort Boil Time: 90 Minutes

Grain Bill

6.5 lbs German Pils (2.0 SRM)  51 %
5 lbs Flaked Wheat Malt (1.6 SRM) 39.2 %
1 lbs Flaked Corn (1.3 SRM)  7.8 %
4.0 oz Acid Malt (3.0 SRM) 2 %

Hops

3.0 oz Saaz (aged 15 months) – Boil 90.0 min

Yeast

House Clean Yeast similar to Wyeast 1056 1L starter

Wyeast 3278 Lambic Blend

Water Profile

Madison, WI cut 1:1 with RO Water.  3 g  Gypsum, 2 g salt, and 6 g calcium chloride added to the mash water.

Final profile:

Ca – 85
Mg – 9.7
Na – 25.4
Cl – 125.9
SO4 – 54.2
HCO – 29.75

Mash Profile

Infusion – 154F for 90 min.
H2O:Grain – 1.25 qt/lb
Mash pH – 5.54

Fermentation Profile
Pitch yeast at 68 F and ferment at 64F for 7 days
Raise Temp to 70 F and ferment for 10 days
Take out of chamber and put in the basement to age and let the bugs do their work

Raspberries added in Fall 2013

Brewing School: Why I chose the American Brewers Guild

Image

 

Last November, I was offered a job as a QA manager/Assistant Brewer at Millstream Brewery in Amana, IA.  Masterbrewer Chris Priebe would have been amazing to learn the craft from.  The owners of Millstream also offered me a living wage and were working on a finding me a place to live in the area.  It was ridiculously painful to turn Millstream down. They wanted someone long-term and while there isn’t a day that goes by that I don’t second guess my decision, I knew I had plans beyond Iowa.

A solid brewing education before jumping into the business is part of my plan.  There are accomplished probrewers  that enter the business without a brewing education and that works well for many.  For myself, I want a combination of a well-rounded education and proving my worth though experience.  The next step was to choose a school.

While new programs are being developed though the US, there are a limited number of  program options specifically designed to advance quickly into a master brewers position. Below are the two options I seriously considered with pros and cons based entirely on my needs and goals:

 

Siebel Institute of Technology- WBA International Diploma in Brewing Technology Program 

Siebel has a great reputation in the industry and brewers from both craft and macro-breweries have graduated from the program.  This a 12-week program is split between the Chicago campus and the Doemens Academy in Munich.  The first six weeks is in Chicago as part of the WBA Associate Program that focuses on different brewing technology modules.  The second six weeks is the European Brewing Study Tour.  This is a very thorough and concise program.  I heard some say that it can be intense with a lot of information in a very short period of time.  The cost for this program is one of the highest at $18,500 ($16,800 for early registration).  There are prerequisite courses for this program including biology and you need to be approved prior to applying.  I exchanged emails with the vice-president Keith Lemke and after a quick discussion, I was approved to apply. I exchanged emails with Keith in fall of 2011 and I believe since then the requirements for approval have been tightened.

I like the reputation that Siebel holds in the industry and the prospect of learning the trade from some of the best in the world in both Chicago and Germany is a huge draw.  Siebel has some courses online, but the WBA International Diploma in Brewing Technology Program or the Associates do not have this option. When the price tag for this program is half that of a salary for a year for many brewers, it does make it a difficult choice. There is a $2,500 fee to hold your seat and full payment is required prior to the beginning of the program.

 

American Brewers Guild Craft Brewers Apprenticeship (CBA) program.

This is a 28-week program with 22 weeks of intensive online  microbiological and engineering brewing study, one week on campus at the Drop-In Brewery in Vermont, followed by an internship at a participating brewery.  They have participating breweries in every state and some include Ommegang, Goose Island, Firestone Walker, and Lost Abbey.

When I first looked at the American Brewers Guild, I had misgivings about grasping difficult brewing engineering and science topics though distance learning. They have online examples that quelled some of my fears, but not all.   There is long waiting list for this limited-class size program.  As of April 2014, all programs are full until January 2016. I believe that Siebel has employment assistance, but ABG specifically outlines this on their site.  The prerequisites are many and include  algebra or calculus and one of college level chemistry, microbiology, physics, or engineering.  Once accepted, $1000 is required to hold your seat and subsequent payments are required but before the program starts and just before the 5-week internship begins.

While I have reservations about online learning, I like that I can complete this program while I’m still earning money at my current job.  I also like that full payment (though most of it is) isn’t required until after the 22 weeks of the online program are completed.  Anytime I mention the program to probrewers, that have a lot of good things to say about founder Steve Parkes and the program. I met Firestone Walker Masterbrewer Matt Brynildson last October and asked him about the CBA. He said that he wouldn’t hesitate to hire someone that has a diploma from the ABG. Hearing him say that added a great deal of credibility to the importance of the ABG in the industry for me.

 

UC- Davis Master Brewers Program 

A big draw to this 18-week program is that it’s instructors Michael Lewis and Charles Bamforth are well respected in the industry.  This program is intensive and on-campus with preparation for the Institute of Brewing and Distilling (IBD), London, Diploma in Brewing Examination and developing skills to work as masterbrewers  in the industry as key components.  The UC- Davis Master Brewers Program has similar prerequisites as the other programs I’ve considered  and an extensive post-program support.  If I was 10 years younger, UC-Davis would be top on my list.

My Decision

With this decision, I had to consider the financial component and balance that with the benefits of the program. If I had the option to learn without earning an income, I would begin the  WBA International Diploma in Brewing Technology Program at Siebel as soon as possible.  I have some pretty good friends in California and that draws me to the UC-Davis program.  Considering the cost, quality of education (with credibility from well respected masterbrewers) and link to my goals, the CBA program at ABG makes the most sense.  I’ll have the financial and educational flexibility to be where I want to be a year from now.

I was accepted into the CBA program in September 2013 and I’ll start in June 2015 .  I’ll document my process and adventures along the way between now and then.  Of which I hope there will be many.

Re:Find Rye Whiskey Barrel Stout with brett

Barrel Stout

Adding the Oatmeal Stout to the Re:Find barrel.

I really like the aroma of bretanomyces bruxellensis when it’s used as a subtle undertone.  Goose Island’s saison Matilda is a pretty good example and at the 2013 Door County Beer Fest, Door County Brewing Company had brett in their porter that went pretty quickly.  I hope they bring it back this year. I also find the descriptions of brett brux pretty ridiculous: Horse blanket, cow pasture, dairy farm, compost pile, “ …urine soaked hay (in a good way).”  Really?! Urine?! How can that be a good thing?

I didn’t fully comprehend this until I brewed another Bishop Rye Saison and pitched 300 ml of slurry from the first batch.  The brett completely dominated the smells emanating from the Better Bottle.  It started as a pleasantly sweet leather aroma and by the third day, a compost smell took over.  I’m not sure this second batch will be used for anything more than blending with other funky

and sour beers at very small ratios, but I’ll let it ride out and see where it comes out.

I really like how the Re:Fined Rye Whiskey Barrel stout turned out and I wonder how it would taste with a hint of brett.  I stepped up a drop of WLP 650 and I’ll used that in the stout.  The process was pretty simple.

I saved the tube of WLP 650 that had less than a ml of brett brux left. I made a 1 L starter for the Wyeast 1318 London Ale III that I will be pitching in the stout and saved 50 ml of 1.025 (6.25 plato) wort to add to the tube.  I thought that the worst that could happen would be a loss of 50 ml of wort.  I’ve lost more during a boil over.  It took about 36 hours, but the brett took off without too much trouble.  By the fourth day the brett

settled out to the bottom of the tube.

The next set-up I added 100 ml of 1.05 SG (6.35 plato) wort to the tube which filled it to the base of the cap. within 12 hours, fermentation took off and at 36 hours about 10 ml of nice white yeast floculated and settled  to the bottom of the tube.

After a full week of fermenting in a better bottle at 65F, I racked the stout into the Re:Find barrel.  The barrel had two different stouts and a healthy dose of  a potassium metabisultphite/citric acid solution in it previously, so I plan on aging it in the barrel for at least a month.  I’m not ready for this barrel to take on bugs, so I’ll wait to pitch the brett until after I take it out of the barrel.

WLP 650 step-up One

This is step one with 50 ml of wort added to about one ml of WPL 650

 

Stats
Batch Size (Gal): 5.5 
Total Grain (Lbs): 15.50
Anticipated OG: 1.071
Anticipated SRM: 39
Anticipated IBU: 62 (Rager)
Brewhouse Efficiency: 70.2%
Wort Boil Time: 90 Minutes

Grain Bill
12 lbs Maris Otter
1.25 lbs Flaked oats
12 oz Chocolate
8 oz Roasted barley
4 oz Black Barley
8 oz Caramel 120

Hops
0.75 oz Warrior @ 60 min
0.5 Columbus @15 min
0.5 EKG @ flameout

Yeast
Wyeast 1318 London Ale III one L starter
WLP 650 stepped up from less than a ml of yeast.

Mash Profile
Single infusion at 158F for 60 minutes
Two batch sparges at 168F

Fermentation Profile
Pitched yeast at 65F and held for 7 days then put at ambient in the oak barrel.

Notes
4/6/14 – Brewed by myself. my Efficiency was much higher than anticipated and got an OG of 1.081.  I boiled water and added 1.o gallons to bring the OG to 1.065.  Pitched 1.0 L of wyeast 1318 at 65F into 6 gallons of wort.

4/13/14 –  Racked to the re:Find barrel. A solution of potassium metabisultphite/citric acid was in the barrel previously.  I rinsed the barrel with near boiling water before racking.

5/5/14 – Bottled 2.5 gallons. Racked 2 gallons and pitched the stepped-up Brett Brux.

7/18/14 – The second batch of the Rye saison with brett mentioned in this post  that had the 300 ml of yeast slurry turned out very well. The organic acids combined nicely with the alcohols to produce some tasty esters.  I blended the 2nd batch with 2012 Lambic and bottled enough for seven cases.

Bishop – Rye Saison with Brettanomyces bruxellensis

After my amazing experience on the Central Coast of California, I came home rejuvenated and more excited about brewing.  Some new ideas fermented up including the Nine Sisters Saison Project.  With many brewing projects on the docket, that project should take me a few years to complete and I’ll likely finish brewing school at The American Brewers Guild before the Nine Sisters are completed.

Rye Saison with Brett B

Rye Saison with Brett B

One beer that came out of this project is Bishop, a Rye Saison with brettanomyces bruxellensis.  Named after the tallest peak of the Nine Sisters Morros.  My plan is to have a dry, but rustic saison with some maltiness that can be enjoyed on a hot summer day. One that has enough spiciness and funk to be enjoyed, but doesn’t overpower the refreshing drinkability.

I’ve been brewing with rye lately.  I love the body it adds to beers and I hope it  plays well with the glycerol produced by the saison yeast. I’m keeping this recipe simple: 75% Belgian Pils and 25% rye and a 0.5 lb of turbinado in the boil.  If it works out, I hope enter it in some competitions in May and June 2014.  I also stepped up some WLP 650 brett from about two drops of yeast remaining in the tube and will have a post in soon about that process and what I plan to brew with it.

 

Stats
Batch Size (Gal): 5.5
Total Grain (Lbs): 12.5
Anticipated OG: 1.060
Anticipated SRM: 4.2
Anticipated IBU: 21.6 (Rager)
Brewhouse Efficiency: 79.8%
Wort Boil Time: 90 Minutes

9 lbs Belgian Pilsner  (2.0 SRM)  75 %
3 lb Rye malt  (3.5 SRM) 25%
8 oz Turbinado sugar  added in the boil

Hops
1.5 oz Styrian Celeia (4.0% AA)– Boil 60.0 min
0.5 oz Styrian Celeia (4.0% AA)– Boil 10.0 min

Yeast
Wyeast 3711 French Saison 1.5L starter
WLP 650 – one tube added to secondary

Water Profile

Madison, WI cut 1:1 with RO water.  4g  Gypsum and 1 g CaCl added to the mash water.
Sparged with two batches of 100% RO water

Final profile:

Ca – 69.2
Mg – 9.7
Na – 14.3
Cl – 67.5
SO4 – 71.5
HCO – 0.525

 

Mash Profile
Single infusion at 149F
sparge at 168F

Mash pH – 5.31

Fermentation Profile
Pitch yeast at 68 F and ferment until gravity is around 1.015-1.018.  I’ll add Brett B to the secondary and raise the temp to 75-85F until fully attenuated.

Notes
10/20/13 – Brewed by myself, hit targets dead on.
11/3/13 – Added WLP 650 and place in 75-85F ambient.
3/19/14 – down to 1.005.  Bottled to 3.5 volumes of Co2
4/13/14 – blended some with Lambic 2012 on raspberries.  I’ll brew this again and do a blend test.

 

Flanders Red Blending – Bos Door de Bomen

After a few years of enjoying Monk’s Cafe, Rodenbach Grand Cru, and discovering the Bruery’s Oude Tart that summer, my first Flanders Red was brewed in 2012.  I wanted a medium tartness-just enough to make your jaw clench, but not too much that you begin to pucker.  I also wanted a that fruity cherry pie and ripe plums that I associate with well blended Flanders.  I brewed my first sour a few years before ( a lambic) and I learned a lot from that process, but  I didn’t know what to expect with the end result of the Flanders Red.  I brewed two batches. The first in November 2012 and the second in February 2013.

An appropriate name for this beer is Bos Door de Bomen -”the forest through the trees” in Dutch.  Before blending and bottling, these two batches aged for 16 and 13 months.  Given the length of fermentation and the unpredictability of critters, I didn’t know what to expect.  I was trying to see the forest through the trees in that this is a process of learning how to brew many sour batches well, not just one.  The grain bills and processes are the same.  I also pitched both with Salfale US-05 and the Roselare after primary fermentation settled down.

Flanders Red Blends

Bos Door de Bomen – Flanders Red Blends. L-R: 2:1 old/new, 1:1, 2:1 new old.

Batch one has a more acetic character than batch two.  I opened the airlock many times over the first three to six months, a lesson in patience I’ve learned where I shoould just leave the bugs and critters to do what they need to do and trust that it’s will come out alright. My tastings lead to a greater amount of acetic acid production from acetobacter.  I had a fruit fly issue in spring of 2013 that gave my Firestone Walker Double Barrel Ale clone a vinegar flavor, so the flies may have contributed to this in Bos Door de Bomen batch one.  The acetic flavor is not overpowering or unpleasant, just slightly greater than I was expecting.  Batch one appeared to have less residual sweetness than batch two and less fruity/cherry pie flavors.  These differences prompted me to blend.  The tastings I chose were  2:1 for each batch and 1:1.  I then elicited the opinion of my friend Martha to help determine the final blends.

 

 

Here are the tasting notes:

2/3 batch one 1/3 batch two

Joe: Mild sourness, acetic flavors (vinegar).  Smells like a rural setting that’s pleasant and not over bearing. Medium mouthfeel.
Martha: Fruity flavors but muted nose.  Strong sour “pow” without great flavor.  Medium mouthfeel vinegar finish.

1/3 batch one, 2/3 batch two

Joe: Complex nose with a cherry pie smell.  Thick mouthfeel with a mild and pleasent tartness.
Martha: Beefier (thicker) mouthfeel and lower sourness than the other blends.  Complex nose. More boozy finish.

50/50

Joe: Sweet fruit taste with low sourness.  Muted complexity with mild fruity nose.
Martha: Thin to medium mouthfeel. Fruity and drinkable with very low sourness

I enjoyed the fruit flavors of the 1:1 blend, but it wasn’t the sourness I was going for.  2:1 batch one to two was too acetic and 2:1 batch two to one seemed just about right.  It’s the blend we chose for a total of six gallons of beer.

 

Floor CorkerI rented a floor corker for $12 and $65 deposit from my LHBS so that I could cork and cage these.  The corker took some getting used to and after a few trials, I got the hang of it.  These beers had been fermenting for a while, so I re-hydrated Lalvin EC-1118. It’s a Champagne yeast that imparts no flavor. I also used 7.3 oz of table sugar which should help to carb up to about 3 volumes of CO2.

Stats
Batch Size (Gal): 6.0
Total Grain (Lbs): 15.375
Anticipated OG: 1.065
Anticipated SRM: ?
Anticipated IBU: 12.1 (Rager)
Brewhouse Efficiency: 70.2%
Wort Boil Time: 90 Minutes

5.0 lbs German Pilsner
5.0 lbs Vienna Malt
3.0 lbs Munich
8 oz Aromatic
8 oz Caramunich
8 oz White wheat malt
6 oz Acid malt

Hops
1.0 oz Wisconsin Goldings from Gorst Valley Hops at 60 minutes.

Yeast
US-05 primary.  Roselare blend and dregs from a bottle of Oude Tart in secondary

Mash Profile

Single infusion at 154F for 90 minutes
two batch sparge at 168F

Fermentation Profile
Pitch yeast at 65 F and ferment until gravity is around 1.015-1.018.  Pitched Roselare blend and ferment at ambient between 65F and 75F.  Added dregs from a bottle of Oude Tart.

 

 

Notes

  • Brewed batch one on 11/25/12 and batch two on 2/2/13 both by myself.
  • Sometime in January 2013 – Pellicle formed on batch one
  • 3/2/13 –  Added 1 oz of oak cubes and the dregs from a bottle of Oude Tart to both batches.
  • 4/13/13 – Pellicle formed on batch two
  • 3/29/14 – Added 3g of re-hydrated Lalvin EC-1118 champagne yeast and 7.3 oz of table sugar. Bottled with corks and cages in 750 ml Belgian bottles with a 2:1 blend of batch two:batch one.

 

“Black” Dark Vanilla Saison – Part of the Nine Sisters Saison Project

Saisons are so versatile.  The spicy and fruity yeast plays well with hops and funk and even though the BJCP guidelines fall in the 5-14 SRM range, the style is pretty open on the beer color scale. I didn’t think about this versatility when I began the Nine Sisters Saison Project, but I don’t think I could brew another style and not get bored brewing so many similar beers.  I don’t think I could brew nine different IPAs or stouts.

Styrian Celeia hops in Black Dark Vanilla Saison

Styrian Celeia hops in Black Dark Vanilla Saison. This was about a minute after I put the hops in the boil at 60 minutes. This picture doesn’t do the color justice. It was bright “St. Patrick’s” green.

Black is a dark vanilla saison with a load of belgian and german malts and the beast of a saison yeast Wyeast 3711 French Saison.  I wanted to use Styrian Goldings, but they are always hard to come by and my homebrew shop was no exception.  I know that Firestone Walker Masterbrewer Matt Bryndilson has often used US fuggles or a combination of Willamette and German Tradition hops to replace Styrian Goldings.  While I like to brew many different types of beers, when I find a recipe that I really like, I like to keep it consistent as possible. I decided to go with Styrian Celeia.  Like Styrian Goldings, Celeia is a Slovenian hop.  It’s a hybrid between Styrian Goldings, Aurora, and a Slovenian wild hop.  I haven’t used it before brewing Black, but it smells herbal and fruity. When I put it in the kettle it looked bright “St. Patrick’s” green.    I’m excited to taste how this hop turns out in this beer.

While I was in California for the Savor the Central Coast Festival, I bought a tube of Cook’s Bourbon Vanilla Beans from the booth at the festival. They weren’t cheap.  $10 for a tube of three beans, but the smell is amazing.  Along with the vanilla smell are aromas of leather and fresh tobacco.  I scrapped out the seeds and put one bean in the secondary.  I’ll taste it each week and pull the pod when I feel it’s where I want it to be.  I also put the seeds in an ounce of Re:find vodka to make an extract.  The seeds have been soaking for about 48 hours and it already has a strong vanilla aroma.  I’ll use this in a beer down the road.  Maybe a vanilla porter, or I’ll brew Black again and try the extract instead of the bean.

Stats
Batch Size (Gal): 5.5
Total Grain (Lbs): 11.50
Anticipated OG: 1.054
Anticipated SRM: 26.4
Anticipated IBU: 31.1 (Rager)
Brewhouse Efficiency: 79.8%
Wort Boil Time: 90 Minutes

7.5 lbs Belgian Pilsner  (2.0 SRM)  65.2 %
1 lb Munich malt  (10.0 SRM) 8.7%
12 oz Vienna malt (3.5 SRM)  6.5 %
12 oz Dark Candi Sugar added in the boil (275.0 SRM)  6.5 %
8 oz White Wheat malt  (2.4 SRM)  4.3 %
8 oz Turbinado sugar  added in the boil (10 SRM)  4.3 %
4 oz Carmel 120 malt  (120 SRM)  2.2 %
4 oz Debittered black malt  (500 SRM)  2.2 %

Hops
2.0 oz Styrian Celeia (4.0% AA)– Boil 60.0 min
0.5 oz Hallertauer Mittelfrueh (4.3% AA)– Boil 15.0 min

Yeast
Wyeast 3711 French Saison 1.5L starter

Water Profile

Madison, WI cut 1:3 with RO water.  6g  Gypsum, 2g table salt, and 3 g CaCl added to the mash water.
Sparged with two batches of 100% RO water

Final profile:

Ca – 94.3
Mg – 14.9
Na – 27.9
Cl – 91.4
SO4 – 110.4
HCO – 147.1

Mash Profile
Single infusion at 149F
sparge at 168F

Mash pH – 5.38

Fermentation Profile 
Pitch yeast at 68 F and ferment until gravity is around 1.015-1.018.  Raise the temp to 78F until fully attenuated.

Notes
Brewed on 10/10/13

10/19/13 took gravity reading.  It’s down to 1.002.  Wyeast 3711 is a beast.  I split and scraped a vanilla bean soaked it in Re:find vodka and put it in the beer.  I’ll let it soak and taste it weekly.

10/28/2013 This batch is infected.  Either from the plastic bucket (most likely) or from the vanilla bean.  I’ll plate and test a sample to see what I have.  I’ll brew it again and use a better bottle next time.

11/30/2013 – turned out to be acectobacter.  I’ll have to dump this before it turns into vinegar.